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Recommendation for a Chuck

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Steve Kephart, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Steve Kephart

    Steve Kephart

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    I need a chuck. I just ordered a Jet 1840 and it should be delivered next week. I was looking at Woodcraft and not sure which would be a good choice. This is my first lathe and I have no turning experience. I could use suggestions at to brand, etc.
     
  2. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Boy, are you going to get inundated with opinions on this! Lots of good brands. I would recommend that whatever you choose, start out with jaws that has about a 2-inch capacity when closed.
     
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  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Nice lathe did a demo on an 1840 in January. Not sure how they will sell Powermatics with the 1840 is $2000 less.

    First I encourage you to take a class or find a mentor. May be difficult for the foreseeable future.

    Lots of choices for chucks - they all pretty much work.

    I would recommend the one way stronghold chuck with the ONEWAY jaws.
    Once you get into turning you can add the pin jaws if you do ornaments
    Add dove tail jaws.
    This standard #2 jaws with this chuck take a tenon 2.5” diameter and a little bit less than 1/2 high with a right angle corner. It is best to have a flat surface against the tops of the jaws- this keeps the piece tight against chuck so the tenon cannot “walk” out of the Chuck.

    most beginners find it easier the turn and Check the square shoulder used for the ONEWAY jaws.
    Also these jaws give a superb grip on square spindle stock.
     
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  4. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    I have only used Oneway chucks, maybe since they were invented. All I ever wanted. When I started turning in 1985, I don't think there were any 4 jaw woodturning chucks. If you insist on getting a Woodcraft chuck, DO NOT get a Wood River adapter. Only use Nova adapters. Maybe they have the issue with Wood River adapters fixed, but they have a history of selling Wood River adapters that are not concentric and you will get a wobble with the chuck.
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    As Dennis told you prepare yourself for many choices. I use Super Nova 2 . It is a good chuck and you can get one with one set of jaws for 138 or the bundle with 3 sets of jaws for 169 at Tools Plus. Note the only dovetail is in expansion mode except the 100mm jaw. I really like the hex kep because you can insert it blindfolded. The advise Al gave you applies to all chucks. Note All manufacturers have a full range of jaws for all purposes so that is not a limiter in choice of which chuck to buy.

    One thing about Nova is they mostly make aninsert chuck. That is they require a insert to fit the threads of your spindle. But Nova only as there is a difference as to thread. Also you will want one with the set screw.
     
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  6. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    Ask a group of 10 turners what's the best chuck and you'll get at least 12 different opinions. Same goes for best lathe, best steel, best gouge grind, ...
     
  7. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    I asked the same question a couple weeks ago... maybe that thread will help too?

     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I'm a Vicmarc chuck fan. I've use a lot of chucks and owned a variety. I now have 3 vicmarc chucks and 2 vicmarc copies. Ive had problems with both aftermarket chucks but not my vicmarcs that are much older. The reason I chose the Vicmarc over others was the chuck key. It's just a standard 10mm hex key. No teeth to break. If you lose it just go to the hardware and by another.
     
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  9. Steve Kephart

    Steve Kephart

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    I have signed up for a bowl turning class. But it is 2 counties south and the central coast is on a variation of shelter in house due the the corona virus.
     
  10. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    I have Nova, Oneway, Vicmarc, Axminster and Bulldog chucks. Any of these will work just fine. For me Nova chucks are the best buy and I use them the most as I have the most of them with the largest selection of jaws. As stated you will get ten different answers as everyone thinks theirs are the best.
     
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  11. Kent Jaffrey

    Kent Jaffrey

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    I have some Nova chucks and agree they are a great price and work very well. But I also have a oneway Talon and an old Vicmarc 110 and their build quality is great. One thing I really like about the oneway and Vicmarc is that the opening width, from min to max size, is much larger than on the Nova chucks so when roughing bowls you have more options for tenon size before having to change jaws.
     
  12. Steven Forrest

    Steven Forrest

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    In general, while all the brands do the same thing and have more or less similar jaw sets available, they are not interchangeable between brands. (I believe Nova, Record, Sorby, and Patriot may be the exception here. Anyone care to clarify?) Therefore, you are likely to stay within one brand or another. (Think Nikon vs. Canon - good quality, doesn't really matter which you choose, but you can't interchange lenses.) That being said, Nova provides a solid product for a good price. As a new turner, that's a good combination. I started with Nova, and they have served me well. Unless you are doing really big stuff, the SuperNova 2 can handle most anything. That being said, I came into a used Vicmarc 120 recently, and it is noticeably beefier than the Nova, and as noted above, has a remarkably wide excursion before you have to change to smaller or larger jaws. So at some level, it depends on how hard you plan to push your equipment, and how the stuff feels to you. For some, the Nova level stuff feels fine - for others, it feels slight. Conversely, the Vicmarcs (and the like) can feel smooth and solid and well built, or they might strike you as overbuilt and overpriced. No right answer. Choose what fits in your situation and don't worry about it.
     
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  13. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    Isn't the vicmark 120 more along the lines of the nova titan iii?
     
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  14. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    I am not a proponent of changing jaw sets back and forth in any particular chuck for several reasons. First, it takes an unreasonable length of time. Second, unless you bought a gross of replacement screws with the chuck, you will spend far more time looking for a screw lost in the shavings. Third, sometimes the jaws do not align perfectly so the spin of the work piece does not align perfectly with spin axis of the lathe and the live center so more time needs to be spent checking for and correcting any misalignment. This is particularly a problem with pin jaws which typically would be used when turning very small items. I would suggest that a second chuck is a better investment for a new turner than buying two or three additional gouges/scapers/skews/etc. Faceplates make good alternatives to larger jaw sets for many purposes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  15. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    That has not always been the case - several years ago at the garage sale held by Craft Supply before the Utah symposium I stumbled on a set of Oneway jaw slides for the Stronghold that were machined for Vicmark jaws - they work perfectly, packaging indicates they were made by Oneway complete with a part number. At the same sale I got a set of Vicmark 110mm jaws that Vicmark made for the Oneway Stronghold chuck - also machined perfectly for the Oneway chuck slides. Bought both and been using them for many years now. The Vic jaws on a stronghold is my go-to chuck for larger bowls and always for coring.
    It’s a shame the manufacturers no longer (at least to my knowledge) produce crossover products. I’d guess the market is just too limited...
     
  16. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Back in the day many products were designed to meet government specifications for defense contracting purposes and it was easier to produce the retail products to the same dimensions.
     
  17. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Chuck discussions are like political and religious discussions - no resolution, you make a decision.

    A significant decision for chucks is determining which style of jaw grip is desired dovetail or serrated. Jaw type availability will limit choices. Some brands are primarily dovetail and are not an option if you want serrated.

    Oneway is the only one with option 3, their profile form - a variation on serrated.

    Something else to consider - Oneway and PSI Barracuda have tower jaws, 3/4”-1” taller which provides more clearance at the bottom of the project to make cuts, and will accept much longer tenons or spigots for hollowing.

    I have PSI Barracuda (3sizes), Nova G3, and Oneway Stronghold. PSI work well except for 1 thing - the gear teeth angle of the ring gear/chuck key is too steep causing the key to push out when tightening - eventually wearing out parts. Nova chucks have significantly less jaw travel than others, creating more jaw changes.

    I use mostly tenons and prefer serrated or profiled jaws, which grip well throughout the jaw size range. My pick would be Oneway Talon and Stronghold. Never used one but Vicmark are excellent chucks from what I can tell.
     
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  18. Kalia Kliban

    Kalia Kliban

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    I second the recommendation for VicMarc chucks. I've got 4 at this point and love them. The only reason I have more than one of any given chuck body size is that I found I was constantly switching jaws back and forth, which got to be a pain in the butt. I have several VM100s (the small ones) and one VM120. They're rock-solid and the dovetail jaws provide an incredibly secure grip. Well worth the money.
     
  19. Steve Kephart

    Steve Kephart

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    I ended up going with the Oneway Stronghold. It should be delivered today or tomorrow. The Jet is scheduled to be delivered at about 10:30am today. The electrical connection was completed Friday. So I am good to go. Now I just need to learn how to use it. The bowl turning class for next Saturday was canceled so I will need to study the videos until the health crisis is over. Thanks for all the help and input.
     
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  20. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    U can get extra screws from oneway give them a call.....stronghold my only chuck....use #3 jaws # pin jaws with reverse chucking to do bottom....1 Chuck was all I needed
     
  21. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    Highly advise giving a close look at Hurricane chucks. I've used a ton of different chucks over the years and a bunch of them have good points, however, I've been using Hurricane chucks for a couple of years now and I find that they are absolutely great chucks with about the broadest selection of jaws that anyone could ask for. They are offered at a great price plus I don't think that you can beat the great support.
     
  22. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    If you prefer serrated jaws the Artisan brand at Craft Supplies looks like a good hi value intermediate chuck: https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/100/1111/apprentice-4-Jaw-Chuck-8-Piece-Set

    As I mentioned I have PSI chucks which have a design flaw with the chuck key/ring gear, otherwise, the chucks performed great. The Artisan chucks appear to be the same chuck and jaws but with contained gears, similar to Vicmark, which addresses the problem. Vicmark fell out of my consideration since they only offer dovetail jaws.
     
  23. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    My advice - look for products that have lasted for the long haul. Vicmark and Oneway have been there for years and I’ve never heard of either one failing (correct me if I’m wrong) or not living up to expectations. I’ve got 6 chucks in two sizes with an assortment of jaws not including collets and vacuum setups and I don’t anticipate ever needing more. The investment made over time will easily outlive my turning lifetime...going for value is relative.
     
  24. Emery Swenson

    Emery Swenson

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    Are the Hurricane jaws compatible with Vicmark chucks?
     
  25. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    I have five Nova chucks ... two G3's, two Infinities, and a Titan. I have eight different jaw sets for the Infinity chucks. In the ten years I have been turning, I have never had any issues with any of my Nova chucks.
     
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  26. Joseph Maiorano

    Joseph Maiorano

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    I originally bought a Oneway Talon to use on my Jet Mini. Then I added pin jaws, #2 dovetail jaws and Mini Jumbo Jaws. When I bought my 3520 lathe, I considered buying a Stronghold. Since I already had several jaw sets for the Talon, I bought a second Talon body along with #3 dovetail jaws. It ended up being much more cost effective. So far the Talon chucks have served me well and I don't see a need to upgrade.
     
  27. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    Sorry for that. We're on a shelter in place order around here. The police have been enforcing it. You can't even ride a bus without proving you're essential. Stay safe.
     
  28. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    I can't answer that. Recommend that you drop the guys at Hurricane an email (or phone) and ask them this question.
     
  29. Steve Fulgoni

    Steve Fulgoni

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    Hi,

    Hurricane jaws are not compatible with Vicmarc Jaws

    Steve
     
  30. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    We just like to talk about it again, LOL My vote is always for Vicmarc Chucks. I just ordered another one, the bigger one, the VM150.
     
  31. odie

    odie

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    I've had two Vicmarc chucks, and one Technatool chuck in the past. Good chucks, but I sold them, mainly because they operated with tommy bars. I now have four Oneway Stronghold chucks, and am satisfied with them. I am a faceplate turner, and only use a chuck when roughing, and preparing seasoned bowls for attachment to wasteblocks. I prefer the serrated jaws, because IMO the grip is better. This is because an angled tenon must fit perfectly to have an even grip from top to bottom of the tenon. A few degrees off will effect the strength of the grip. Also, a straight up tenon is much easier to form, and better for attaching, and final turning with wasteblocks.

    -----odie-----
     
  32. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Can't afford a bunch of chucks so I have to change jaws but don't turn that many things, then jaws aren't an issue. Time? I'm retired so I'm not in a hurry nor a production turner. As for screws, I don't change them at the lathe but take the chuck to the workbench. Screws are kept in a magnetic tray from HF.
     
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  33. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Interesting how likes differ. I have four Vicmarc chucks with tommy bars and would not consider swapping the tommy bars for a chuck key as long as I have a handy spindle lock as on my Oneway 2436. I can mount or dismount a piece in a couple of seconds or so as opposed to ten to twenty seconds using a chuck key, depending on how much the chuck opening needs to be changed. Another advantage is that I can use the chuck in expansion mode inside a workpiece using a bent tommy bar. I find this often very useful when re-turning a piece after drying.
     
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  34. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    If I was charging by the hour, I would use the chuck key.;)
     
  35. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Go big or go home, you might as well by an 18" 4-jaw metal lathe chuck and you will never be lacking the ability to hold a work piece. :)
    Any of the woodturning adjustable chucks and jaw sets will do the job, most turners end up with a bakers dozen of various sizes and jaw types to speed the work flow.
    Plenty of turners out there that are downsizing or moving into retirement homes and liquidating a life time collection of tools and accessories. Look on Craigslist and Facebook for local listings in your area, you will be surprised what shows up over time.
     
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  36. George Kuipers

    George Kuipers

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    Oneway all the way.
     
  37. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    Wow! guys, a lot of choices.
    Since you are new to turning and you have no idea what kind of specialty jaws that you may need in the future, I would recommend a manufacturer that has the widest range of jaw sets available. You will be able to obtain additional jaws as you develop your skills and turning appetite.

    Invariably, you may grow out of this lathe someday. Buy into chuck manufacture that offers threaded spindle inserts. This will enable you to take this chuck and use it on your next lathe. Next is chuck size. For your 18 inch lathe, you can use a 5-inch chuck or smaller. My preference is the 5" because more jaw sets are available, With these features, the two that I own are the Oneway Stronghold and the Vicmarc 120. I have not considered any other brands such as Record, Nova, and others. I don't think that they have the large jaw selection that Oneway and Vicmarc have. I would go to Websites Oneway and Vicmarc and review what's offered as well the others.
    Selecting the right manufacturer initially may save you money in the long run. Don't ask me how I know. Yes, also buy with the stock jaws. There will be plenty of time to purchase additional jaws in the future.
     
  38. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    Excuse me...did I stumble into a chat between a group of old hot-rodders....?:D Ford, Chevy or Mopar?;)

    TO The OP:....the shorter list -which may prove more useful - would be to ask what brands of chucks to avoid - and why. I suspect you will get very few answers, because we live in a highly competitive world market, in which high tolerance machining capabilities are no longer dependent on well experienced humans. Computers run advanced machinery to make it more difficult to distinguish between the most expensive and the cheapest chucks. Quality of steel is very hard to discern as a purchaser. Consider that unless otherwise specifically stated - all of it comes from China. No judgement - just observation.

    I my thus far short 2.5 years in turning, I have accrued a number of chucks. Several brands. They all work. Well.

    So, rather than recommend on septic brand - I would suggest:
    If you live near a Woodcraft, or other store selling woodturning supplies....look at the chucks they sell...*as long as they also stock a broad selection of jaws and accessories....*. Otherwise - the internet may be your best source.
    If parts/accessories availability are important to you - Nova Technatool is hard to argue about. And, as a personal choice, I prefer the hex wrench key they and Vicmarc use ( different size/same concept )over the gear/spline arrangement that operates most other chucks. I also own Vicmarc, and Hurricane. I see no measurable performance difference.
     
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  39. Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller

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    Tim not to nit pick and I do agree, for the most part, most everything is made by the Chicoms, I'm pretty sure that in the case of quality (read high end Quality made) scroll chucks are made either in the USA, England or Australia.
    I opted for the Australia made chuck and am very happy with it...Them, because well you can never just have one...or two..or three ;)
     
  40. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    Bruce -
    No nits picked, plucked nor otherwise harmed...:D. My reference was about the steel used. Most manufacturers are not going to tell us where the steel ultimately comes from, and I find that it is all pretty good anymore. Competition, global markets, et al - keep raising the bar in favor of the consumer. I have several Vicmarc chucks and a few other brands. Again, they are all pretty good, tho I do believe that at the top end of "feel good quality" we have Vicmarc and Oneway. The value brand, IMHO...is NOVA. And, I don't really see any difference in performance. It is great that we have so many choices.
     
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